5 Best Finish for Maple Wood [Reddit Choices]

In almost all homes, there is either a wooden floor or furniture. Maple wood is one of the best types of wood material as it makes the room look beautiful. The maple wood’s natural color fades with time, making it necessary for wood finishing. Different finishing maple products depend on qualities, prices, colors, and quantities.

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You need to choose the best finish for maple wood to achieve similar stain color. I have gathered the necessary information that will make your work easy. However, finishing maple wood is not as easy as you think. It requires proper selection and technicality to achieve the best color of maple wood.

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Staining maple wood helps in minimizing the effects of weather and scratches. Using the best finish for maple wood will preserve the original wood color and reduce the effects. Ensure you follow all the instructions that come with every product for safety.

Top 5 Best Finish for Maple Wood

1. Howard Products RF2016 Maple Pine

Howard Products RF2016 Restor Maple Pine

Howard Products maple pine is a distinctive finish that penetrates maple wood to restore wood finishes. It also blends out abrasions, minor scratches as well as blemishes. Howard Products offer nine different colors for almost all wood finishing tones. In addition, the maple pine product is simple to apply. You only need to wipe on and off and restore the wood color within few minutes.

Howard maple pine penetrates shellac, varnish, and faded lacquer finishes restoring the original luster and color. In addition, it refurbishes the grain depth deep than the scratch cover products. Howard Products watermarks, smoke damage, the sun fades, heat rings, oxidation, and other blemishes; Howard products maple pine is the best product to use.

When choosing the right product for your wood finishing, and maybe you are not perfect about the color, always go for a slightly lighter color than the original one. The maple pine is for all wood surfaces with light brown colors.

Howard maple pine product is among the best finishes for maple wood in the market. With an affordable price and excellent performance, it becomes the best for your pocket.


  • Easy to use, only wipe on and off formula
  • Last for a long time after applying
  • Dries fast
  • Fast absorbency rate
  • One application is enough


  • It is quite expensive

2. Minwax Wood Finish 222304444 

Minwax Wood Finish 70012444 Dark Walnut Stain

Minwax 222304444 is a Minwax brand product, a prominent brand company for wood care and wood finishing products in America. The stain penetrates deep into maple wood to come up with an even color. Before applying this product, it is good to pre-condition for even wood surfaces.

Apply the Minwax wood finish 222304444 in the direction of the wood grain using a paintbrush or a clean rag. Wait for the stain to dry. Remember, the more hours it takes to dry, the richer the color it will achieve. Be patient.

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Minwax products come with an instruction manual to help you maintain safety. The stain dries up fast as it only takes about 2 hours. Minwax wood finish 222304444 has a wide coverage. Therefore, you only need few applications to attain the desired finish result.


  • Easy to apply and fast to dry
  • Last for a long period
  • Great value for your money
  • Wide application, perfect for cabinets, trim, hardwood floors, cabinets, and furniture
  • Penetrates fast in the wood grains


  • The result color may not be eye-appealing

3. Minwax 308210000 Wood Finishing Cloths, Maple

Minwax 308210000 Wood Finishing Cloths Maple wood

Minwax 308210000 is a DIY wood finishing cloth, maple. It is a product of the Minwax brand, the best provider of wood stains in the United States. It is cheap to buy the product with quality pigments to give you beautiful and long-lasting colors. Once you apply and wipe off the excess stain of Minwax 30821000, it only takes about one hour to dry completely.

The wood finishing maple cloths are available in five distinguished wood tones, from dark mahogany to natural oak. Cleaning is also easy. Use warm water and soap to clean the stained wood surfaces.

The package comes with plastic gloves. Always wear them when applying the stain to avoid hand burns. The Minwax 30821000 cloths are for use by both experienced and beginners. For a more even and deeper color, apply more than coats of the stain. Use a clean rag to wipe off the excess stain product before leaving it to dry.

Before applying the Minwax, sand the wood surface until it is smooth, dust then wipe using a clean cloth. Use the pre-moistened cloths to apply the stain on maple wood for beautiful furniture.


  • Quick absorbency
  • Easy to use and clean, ideal for beginners
  • Take less time to dry compared to other products
  • Cheap to purchase
  • Wide coverage


  • Requires several applications for desired maple finish color

4. Goodfilla Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler

Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler By Goodfilla

Goodfilla water-based wood & grain filler is a product ideal for professional wood. The ease of use makes it also a perfect product for a DIY maple wood finish. It has very high-quality pigments that are crack-free, do not sink or shrink. In addition, the product has zero waste since you can reconstitute it with water in case it dries up.

The excellent adhesion makes it perfect for mixing with other stains, pigments, and dyes. Only one application of the water-based stain is enough to give you a flawless wood finish. Goodfilla product is hard and consistent. The ability to reconstitute with water and to avoid freezing makes the maple wood long-lasting.

Goodfilla is perfect to use if you want to finish a wooden floor, repair furniture, or design an instrument. First, sand the surface to attain a smooth surface, stain using Goodfilla, tint, prime, and seal each knot on the wooden furniture. The wood stain is very easy to sand, saving your time.

The water-based product is non-toxic; it is safe for human use.


  • Ease of use and sand
  • Last for a long time
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Great value for your money
  • Excellent adhesion and non-toxic


  • A bit expensive

5. General Finishes Oil Based Penetrating Wood Stain

General Finishes Oil Based Penetrating Wood Stain Honey Maple

General Finishes is an oil-based penetrating wood stain that is famous for offering the best finishes. It features pigments of great quality that produce uniform colors on the wood. To apply the product, you can either spray or apply using a brush or a rag. The outcome will please your eyes. General Finishes wood stain blends effortlessly with the maple wood and penetrates well, giving a blotch-less surface.

The oil-based wood stain is the best to use on raw maple wood surfaces. It penetrates deep through the wood grains to give a uniform color. It also prevents streaking giving you beautiful maple wood. Application of the wood stain is easy. You need a brush to apply the stain and a clean-dry rag to wipe any excess stain.

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After applying General Finishes oil-based penetrating wood stain, use mineral spirits to clean up the wood. The wood coat accepts any top coating product, be it water or oil-based products. The product requires safe handling. Stain your maple wood in a well-ventilated room.


  • Easy to use and clean up
  • Great maple-wood color finish
  • Appropriate to use
  • Wide coverage
  • Fast absorbency rate


  • Takes time to cure
  • A bit expensive

How to Stain Maple Wood

It is both easy and tricky to stain maple wood. This is because maple wood contains tight grains that make it hard for stains to penetrate. As a result, the stain enters slowly and unevenly, making it hard to attain a uniform color. However, there are some techniques to follow to make your work easier and perfect.

First, always try out the stain on a sample piece of wood to know exactly how the stain will look like on the real surface. Second, sand the wood to come up with a smooth surface. Use different sandpapers in the order 120 grit, 180, then 220 grit. Finally, apply a light layer of a pre-stain conditioner or a mixture of denatured alcohol plus Zinsser sealer to thin the wood.

Leave the sealer for some hours to dry, possibly 6 hours and above. After drying, check all the areas if they have a uniform look. In case some parts dry quicker than others, re-apply, then leave it to dry overnight.

Once the wood attains even drying, apply your stain. I prefer pigmented stains because they make the wood color. Use a paintbrush to apply the paint evenly as you remove any excess paint. Leave the stain to dry overnight, then apply a polycyclic finish if you want to seal the stained part. Lastly, use mineral spirits to clean the maple.

How to Stain Maple Dark

Many people prefer dark maple stains to light maple colors. However, staining maple dark is work that requires a higher level of technicality. Staining maple dark requires you to have some items like overalls, gloves, and goggles. Also, work in a well-ventilated room for your health safety.

Before staining the maple dark, strip off the existing paint using a dichloromethane chemical stripper. After removing the paint, smoothen the surface using 180 and 220 grit sandpapers. Using a damp cloth, moisten the wood surface, then use sandpapers of 120,180 and 220 grits.

Coat the wood with a pre-stain conditioner or a mixture of denatured alcohol with Zinsser sealer and leave it to dry for few hours. Mix water with Analine-trans tint dye, then rubs the mixture lightly on the wood. Apply three or four coats until you come up with preferred dark color. Leave the paint to dry.

After drying, apply a mixture of tinted Shellac added to few cups of water on the maple. Let it dry before finishing with oil or urethane for durable paint. In case you realize any blotches, re-apply the stain until you come up with an even color.

How to Stain Maple Wood Cabinets

Before staining maple wood cabinets, you first need to prepare the surfaces of the cabinet. Use sandpaper grits in the order of 120, 180, and 220 to get uniform smoothness. If the cabinets had old paint, wear protective clothing, then strip the paint using the following steps. Remember, it is not necessary to remove the existing paint. You can apply your stain on top of stained cabinets. However, the meddling of colors might happen to result in a different pain color than expected.

Apply dichloromethane-based chemical using a paintbrush. Sprinkle some sawdust on the chemical for easier removal. Wait for some hours to allow the chemical to dry. Once dry, scrape the chemical using a putty knife. Ensure that no chemical stain is left. Smoothen the wood surface using 180 and 220 grit sandpapers.

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Get a pre-stain conditioner and apply it on the wood, then leave it to dry for about 20 minutes. Use a dry cloth to wipe off the excess conditioner, then give it two hours to dry and penetrate completely. Next, apply the stain on the cabinets. I suggest that you use gel or oil-based stains products for better results. Leave the cabinets overnight to dry completely. Check for any blotches that require re-staining.

Frequently Asked Questions

What stain looks best on maple wood?

Urethane and oil-based stains look best on maple wood. These stains produce a beautiful look on the maple wood. Water-based poly stains are also good as they produce out a waterproof maple wood surface. However, you must have a water-based pre-stain wood conditioner for it to stain well.

How do you seal maple wood?

To seal maple-wood products, you need to have linseed or Tung oils. First, apply the oil to come up with a curly maple wood look. Next, apply about two coats of Shellac, then cover the top with polyurethane or clear lacquer.

Can you use polyurethane on maple?

Yes, you can use polyurethane on maple. You can apply as many layers of polyurethane as possible until you get a glossy maple. However, you should ensure that you use different grits of sandpapers to sand after every layer. You will come up with a smooth and beautiful maple surface of the wood material.

Does maple wood stain well?

Yes, maple wood stains well. However, it is tricky to stain maple wood because maple absorbs stain unevenly, producing a blotchy look. To stain maple wood well, you need to pre-seal the wood surface always before applying the stain.
Apply the pre-sealer and leave it overnight to dry. Use sandpaper grits of 120, 180, and 220 grits to smoothen the maple wood surface, start your staining process. Also, ensure you choose the correct color to avoid having unpleasant maple color. You can first try the stain on a sample piece of wood material to check the results.

What wood takes stain the best?

Wood with more porous tends to take stain well. Wood from trees with large pores like Oak and Cedar takes in stain product very easily and fast. Chestnut and ash are other types of wood materials that take stain products the best. Despite the size of pores, there are some tips that you should observe for better staining.
Before applying any stain product on any wood, ensure you clean the sand to come up with a smooth surface. Sand alongside the grain direction then leaves it to dry before adding the stain.

Final Verdict

Everyone wants her maple wood furniture to maintain the beautiful color it had when new. However, this may not happen since maple wood stains tend to fade with time. Therefore, applying color stain will be necessary not only to maintain beauty but also to add durability.

The above stains are the best finish for maple wood. After getting the correct color to blend the original maple wood color, follow the steps above to achieve excellent results. All the above products are of high quality and affordable. I, therefore, recommend you choose the one that fits your wood finish needs.

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